Marcel Delmotte

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Biography of Marcel Delmotte ( 1901-1984 )

Born in 1901 in Charleroi, Marcel Delmotte was a painter, draftsman, watercolourist and Belgian sculptor. He studied drawing from nature at the the University of Labor in Charleroi with the painter Leon Van den Houten.  

A realist painter at first, he was influenced by Expressionism of the beginning of the century, before turning to the symbolic style and developing his great compositions with mysterious landscapes and futuristic architectures. One of his first paintings, "The Agapes", (1919), reproduced the layout of large Venetian scenes and degraded texture of Gustave Moreau.   

In the first half of his career, Delmotte was influenced by models of the Italian Renaissance, Rubens or Ingres, and represented large and sculptural nudes, illustrating scenes from mythology, the Divine Comedy or the Bible.  

From the 1950s, Delmotte developed his own style with large symbolist paintings representing mysterious and jagged landscapes. Using the technique of “grattage” with a knife like the painter Max Ernst did in the 1920s, Delmotte created interesting textures highlighting a fantastic universe of eroded rocks and lush vegetation. The artist painted his landscape on several levels, occupying the entire space of the canvas, with rocky landscapes seeming to float on the horizon.  

In his book devoted to the painter, Marcel Fryns declared: "It is the balance, the domination of the dream by the mind that explains the calm of Delmotte's landscapes. This confession of the natural elements, this dialogue between the sovereigns of the vegetable kingdom takes part of a surrealist art but not of an unbridled fantastic. "

Marcel Delmotte received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. He was named Knight of the Order of Leopold II in 1939. He received the silver medal of the Belgian painting in 1960. The same year, he obtained the Richard Dupierreux painting First Prize, then the Chapman First Prize in 1965.  

He exhibited in the galleries of Charleroi and Brussels many times. In 1952, he participated in the Salon d’art libre in Paris. In 1964, the Spa Casino organized a retrospective of his work, as well as the Brachot gallery in 1976.


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